Mighty Maverick (1970)

  This stylized casting is based on a real car built by the Ford Motor Company: the 1969 Maverick.  Ford also produced the "badge-engineered" sister car, the Mecury Comet. The real car was introducted late in 1969. In it's first full year of production, 1970, the Maverick broke the first year sales record previously held by the Mustang!  The 1969 Maverick was built using a lot of Falcon parts, and was only available with a straight 6-cylinder engine.  Although most people would agree that the car had nice lines, nobody confused it with a muscle car! The "Grabber" option was introduced in 1970, but was basically an interior and exterior trim package in it's first year. The Grabber really became a force when the 302 c.i. V-8 became an option in 1971, and Ford began to market the Maverick as a performance car. Production  of the Maverick continued through 1977.

Mattel's Mighty Maverick casting was designed in 1969 and produced in 1970. The car was initially called the "Mad Maverick" but the name was changed because of a trademark issue.  Only a few of the early "Mad Mavericks" are known to exist, along with a few cardboard case boxes with "Mad Maverick" stamped on the side.  Production of spectraflame Mighty Mavericks continued through 1971.

A pair of Mighty Mavericks in US gold (L) and HK purple (R).

The Mighty Maverick was produced in both the US and Hong Kong. The obvious difference between the two castings is the roof stripe. The US casting has a wide white tampo print, and the HK casting has a thinner white sticker applied.  The HK casting also has the typical blue window glass.  The HK car has silver (unpainted) headlights, while the US grill is all black. The HK body sits on the base a bit differently - the side pipes are farther from the rocker panels. On the HK car, the "hood scoop" sits a little bit farther back from the front edge of the hood, and at the top of the tail-light panel, there is a slight notch, presumably to facilitate the interior and wing assembly.

US yellow and red Mighty Mavericks.

A few US Mighty Mavericks were finished with black stripes, although these were likely not production cars.

Rare black stripe Mighty Mavericks!  (Courtesy of Bob Rosas)

As is common for many other Hot Wheels spectraflame castings, there are general finish quality differences for US and HK cars. The US cars are typically much brighter and smoother, while many HK cars suffer from rough paint, bubbling, and micro flaking. Smooth and bright HK cars do exist, but are much tougher to find.

A group of pink Mighty Mavericks: US salmon (L), US hot pink (C), and HK pink (R).

The wing assembly for the Mighty Maverick was molded with the interior as one piece. After the body was attached to the base, the wing was folded up and held in place by pegs that fit into slots on either side of the rear window. The US interior/wing component is a consistent black color, while some HK wings have a slight brown tint swirling through them, and are slightly translucent on the edges. A very rare brown interior and wing version exists for HK cars (copper and orange only).  The brown wing is very consistent and obvious - you'll know it when you see it. Most likely however, if you think you might have a brown wing, you probably don't.  Perhaps equally as rare as HK Mavs with brown wings, are HK Mavs with a black roof. After the spectraflame paint had dried, a matte black was sprayed on the top of the roof only (doesn't extend down the pillars); the sticker/stripe lies on top of the black-painted roof.

A pair of HK Mighty Mavericks with rare brown interiors and wings.

HK Mighty Mavericks with the rare black roof variation.

As for value, US hot pink and purple Mavericks aren't particularly difficult to find, but are very popular and desirable colors, so a mint car in those colors will command a premium price. The condition of the stripe also is important and affects the value, but this car is all about the wing!  A missing wing decreases the value by at least 50%, probably more. A reproduction wing will only add the cost of the repro wing (about $15). A damaged wing will affect value nearly as much as a missing wing (i.e. missing flap, or completely separated at the trunk fold.) Partial tearing or cracking at the trunk fold is very common, especially on HK cars, and can affect value.

The Mighty Maverick mother lode!

In 1973, the Mighty Maverick was reincarnated as an enamel clad and wingless car called the Street Snorter. The Mighty Maverick name was reprised in 1975 in two enamel variations (blue and light green), still sans wing, and also lost the opening hood and engine detail. Finally, there was a "Super Chromes" version of the Mighty Maverick produced in 1976.

A pair of rough '73 Street Snorters.

A lime '74 Mighty Maverick.

Color chart

yellow common
red common
aqua common
magenta common
lime common
light ("apple") green common
hot pink
common, but popular
purple hard to find
rose hard to find
salmon hard to find
gold rare
blue common
hard to find
hard to find
hard to find
hard to find
rose ("watermelon")
hard to find
pink very rare
very rare

A very rare original "Mad Maverick"!  (Courtesy of Bob Rosas)

A rare lime HK Mighty Maverick in the blister!

Photo & info credits: Alex & Eric Moll


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